Chrome 75 has barely rolled out to users, and the development team behind the popular browser is sharing the new features coming in the next version of Chrome.
In a post on the Chromium blog, the team outlines some of the significant new changes coming in the next version of the browser. Plus, some of them are live now if you use Chrome Beta.
First up: more changes to dark mode. Specifically, the introduction of the new CSS media query that tells sites whether to display dark mode.
The media query, called ‘prefers-color-scheme,’ will allow websites to adopt the preferred display mode someone is using. In other words, if you set your browser or OS to dark mode, sites can see that and display an appropriate colour scheme if they have one.
The team will release more details in a blog post called ‘Hello Darkness, My Old Friend’ coming later on the web platform blog.
Improvements for PWAs
Google has been pushing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for some time, and now they’re getting better.
PWAs are super useful on mobile, as they act like apps but are much more lightweight and typically take up less storage while still offering similar performance and functionality to that of a standard app.
While the benefits are the same on the desktop, it isn’t always obvious when a user can install a site as a PWA. With Chrome 76, Google is moving the PWA installation button out of the three-dot overflow menu and putting it in the address bar, so it’s much more visible. The team started testing the feature in Chrome Canary back in March.
Also, in Chrome 76, Google will seed control of the ‘Add to Home Screen’ info bar to web developers. On mobile, the first time a user visits a site that can be a PWA, they’ll see an info bar prompting them to add the site to their home screen — in other words, install it.
However, developers can now control when or if the info bar will appear and offer their own prompt instead.
On top of all this, Google is also increasing the frequency that PWAs on mobile check for updates. Previously, PWAs, which install using the WebAPK format on Android, checked for updates once every three days and then updated accordingly. Now, Chrome will check for updates daily.
Other changes coming in Chrome 76
Chrome 76 brings a host of other updates and tweaks, many of which won’t mean much to those who aren’t web developers. However, I’ve highlighted a few interesting ones below.
Chrome 76 will bring more enhancements and improvements to the Payments APIs in the browser. Specifically, the APIs now allow merchant websites to respond when a user changes the payment instrument they wish to use. You can learn more about these changes here.
The next version of Chrome will also change what the browser views as an interaction with a webpage. For example, clicking on a page is an interaction, while scrolling typically isn’t an interaction. Chrome will no longer view pressing the ‘escape’ key as an interaction in Chrome 76.
Finally, Chrome 76 will remove the LazyLoad policy in favour of a newer policy that covers the same use cases that’s better aligned with how Chrome handles the loading of webpages.
You read up on all the changes here.